Dried Fruit

Prunes: Chile sees great potential in North America

July 27, 2022 at 11:04 AM , Der AUDITOR
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SANTIAGO/SACRAMENTO. Chile sees great potential in North American sales markets, and the USA has become an important export market. Nevertheless, the supply of prunes is likely to remain tight this year.

Supply remains limited

Chilean prune production in 2022 was significantly better than the year before. After the initial sobering forecasts, Pedro Acuña, executive director of the Chile Prunes Association, announced in June that around 90,000 mt of plums had been harvested in Chile this season, of which around 71,000 mt had been processed into prunes. In countries like France, however, the outlook remains bleak after unfavourable weather conditions reduced yields. At the same time, supply in the European spot market is currently limited.

Prune production, in mt

Country

2021/22

2022/23

Diff.

USA

68,000

68,000

0.0%

Chile

57,510

65,000

13.0%

France

16,400

15,000

-8.5%

Argentina

13,500

18,000

33.3%

Serbia

6,000

5,000

-16.7%

Australia

2,300

2,000

-13.0%

Italy

964

1,200

24.5%

South Africa

800

800

0.0%

Total

165,474

175,000

5.8%

INC, July 2022

Half-year exports reach USD 75 million

While the USA is still the world's largest producer of prunes, Chile can boast the title of top exporter. Although the USA also exports significant quantities, it buys prunes from Chile in addition due to high domestic demand. According to data from the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (Odepa), which reports to the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture, prunes worth a total of USD 75 million were exported in the first half of 2022. Exports are made to around 70 countries, with almost three-quarters of shipments going to the top 10 export destinations. The USA and Mexico have emerged as the top buying countries, and demand is strong. Acuña says that "the North American market as a whole, considering the United States and Mexico, is of great importance for Chile due to its size, relative proximity and growing consumption." Prunes have become increasingly popular, especially in recent years, as they are said to have nutritional qualities that have a positive effect on health. Other important consumer countries are the UK and China, as well as Poland, Germany and Italy. 

Prune exports, Chile, Jan-Jun 2022

Top 10 destinations

mt

USD

USD/mt

USA

2,671

10,189,758

3,815

Mexico

1,797

6,765,067

3,764

UK

1,681

6,540,267

3,892

China

1,540

5,143,320

3,340

Poland

1,444

5,969,852

4,135

Germany

1,148

4,195,714

3,656

Italy

1,011

4,425,106

4,376

Brazil

963

3,039,032

3,154

Spain

949

4,670,150

4,919

Netherlands

710

3,122,790

4,398

Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (Odepa)

Germany's imports 16% behind last year

Germany has significantly reduced its prune imports in the current season. Between September 2021 and May 2022, imports totalled 7,355 mt, which is around 16% less than in the same period last year. Many main growing countries had to cut back on their supply volumes, for example, the import volume from Chile was almost 11% behind last year at 2,636, while imports from the USA (-26% to 2,198 mt), the Netherlands (-44% to 459 mt) and France (-45% to 446 mt) also declined significantly.

Prune* imports, Germany, in mt

Supplier

2020/21

2021/22

Diff.

Chile

2,950

2,636

-10.6%

USA

2,958

2,198

-25.7%

Netherlands

819

459

-44.0%

France

805

446

-44.6%

Serbia

233

400

71.7%

Turkey

160

302

88.8%

Argentina

100

104

4.0%

Others

714

810

13.4%

Total

8,739

7,355

-15.8%

Federal Statistical Office of Germany / Sep-May

*08132000 Dried prunes

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